The PS3 faces a number of obstacles standing in its way on the road to success. A delayed launch, the already established key rival XBOX 360 and the high selling price are just three of them.
After a series of delays the PS3 finally went on sale across Europe on March 23.
In the dark days of 2005, games console and software retailers across Europe were counting down to the release of the so called next generation consoles. In late 2005, the XBOX 360 was launched and around 12 months later Nintendo’s Wii hit the shops in time for Christmas. The PS3 – which has been available in the USA and Japan since December last year – will provide a further fillip to these retailers’ sales.
However, the impact of the PS3 on the European market may well be substantially weaker than originally expected – at least in the short-term. With most launch-day packages coming in at close to GBP500, the PS3 – despite its advanced specification, and strong brand – looks expensive. Furthermore, its key rival XBOX 360 has had over a year’s head start, and the March launch means the console will miss out on the lucrative Christmas gifting market that so many other console launches have benefited from.
Rumors of excess launch day stock at some retailers in the UK only reinforce this view, though it must be conceded that the numbers of consoles available at launch are historically high.
The PS3 does have a number of tricks up its sleeve. Its HD Blu-ray player for one will entice a new audience to the PS3, due to it being cheaper than current available standalone Blu-ray players. Furthermore, though the line-up of launch software titles is a little disappointing, forthcoming titles such as Metal Gear Solid 2 and Gran Turismo will also drive console sales.
Sony also has the option – though only as a last resort – to lower the price of its hardware in order to boost console sales and subsequently peripherals and software. There is a precedent to this as Microsoft reduced the price of its original XBOX in 2002 just two months after launch. However, Sony has invested heavily into the PS3 and although failure would be unthinkable for the Japanese giant, at this stage so would lowering the European retail price.
Source: Verdict Research